Bulls

Bulls' draft pick Mirotic opens up in interview

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Bulls' draft pick Mirotic opens up in interview

Unlike his fellow 2011 first-rounder Jimmy Butler, who played just up the road at Milwaukee's Marquette University in the Big East Conference, not much is known about Bulls draft pick Nikola Mirotic.

The 6-foot-10 forward revealed he was pleased by the Bulls' decision to draft him in a recent interview by Spain-based basketball news outlet HoopsHype.com.

"I was thrilled by the Chicago option. I had talked with them and I was thrilled and attracted by this possibility. So I stayed in the draft because of Chicago," said Mirotic, who told the site he learned of the Bulls' interest "maybe two to three weeks before the draft."

"You can never be 100 percent sure, but I kind of knew they were going to pick me."

Since the draft, Mirotic hasn't second-guessed his decision to remain in the draft.

"I was very happy. I spoke with Bulls director of international scouting Ivica Dukan, whos Croatian, and I was very thrilled. I think its a team thats growing and has a lot of young players. Time will tell exactly when I go over there or if I go. Right now, Im happy and I want to reach my goals here," he continued. "They have a great history and they are building a great team. Of course, I like the coach and the manager is Croatian and Im familiar with him. So my decision to stay in the draft was perfect.

"I re-signed for five years with an NBA out. Well see what happens. I still cant tell if Im leaving in two, three, four or five years. Im thinking about this year right now. I cant tell how long Im going to stay," added the Real Madrid forward, who did not play on Spain's gold-medalist EuroBasket squad, as the champions opted to use Thunder forward Serge Ibaka as their team's allotted naturalized citizen. "I would like to make that jump to the NBA."

As for his NBA readiness, Mirotic takes on a humble approach, despite having garnered rave reviews for his continued development over the past year and change.

"I see myself as a power forward, but one that can play outside and shoot the three, go to the hole," said Mirotic, the MVP of the FIBA Under-20 European Championships for titlist Spain.

"Its been a super important and key year for me because Ive made a lot of progress. Ive done things real well. But this has to be just the beginning for me. I know I can keep improving. Im working on it and I expect bigger things for myself," the 20-year-old, whose parents hail from Montenegro and Spain, continued. "Last year I worked real well and current Lakers assistant coach Ettore Messina helped me. This year, theres a lot of expectations on me. I have to keep improving in several areas--most notably defense and some tactical stuff. Time will tell, but I hope I can help Real Madrid any way I can.

"I always think team first. Our goal is to contend for every title. We didnt start in the best possible way at the Supercup, we couldnt win it, but we have the ACB League, the Cup, the Euroleague," he added. "As for myself, I dont know what to tell you. Being 20, you cant just focus on improving one or two things. I have to improve in every area."

Aggrey Sam is CSNChicago.com's Bulls Insider. Follow him @CSNBullsInsider on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bulls information and his take on the team, the NBA and much more.

Coby White leads the way, receives votes in 5 categories of annual NBA Rookie Survey

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USA TODAY

Coby White leads the way, receives votes in 5 categories of annual NBA Rookie Survey

The NBA's annual Rookie Survey was released on Monday, and there's a whole lot of Coby White love sprinkled throughout it. As John Schuhmann pointed out in his write-up, White and Celtics point guard Carsen Edwards tied for the lead by receiving votes in a survey-high five different categories.

Here's what rookies think of White's game.

Who will be the 2019-20 Kia Rookie of the Year?

1. Zion Williamson, Pelicans (35%)
2. Ja Morant, Grizzlies (27%)
3. R.J. Barrett, Knicks/Cam Reddish, Hawks (5% each)

Also receiving votes: Coby White, Bulls; 9 others

Thoughts: One aspect White has working in his favor is his position: Beginning with Kyrie Irving in 2012, six of the last eight Rookies of the Year have been point guards. Realistically, White's path to Rookie of the Year consideration is bumpy. The Bulls gave Tomas Satoransky $30 million to eat up a bulk of the point-guard minutes, and Kris Dunn is still on the roster battling for minutes with White. The rook's best path to RoY consideration would be carving out a Sixth Man role, similar to what Ben Gordon did in 2004.

Which rookie will have the best career?

1. Cam Reddish, Hawks (19%)
2. Ja Morant, Grizzlies (16%)
3. De'Andre Hunter, Hawks (11%)
4. Coby White, Bulls (5%)
4. Zion Williamson, Pelicans (5%)
4. Jaxson Hayes, Pelicans (5%)
4. R.J. Barrett, Knicks (5%)

Others receiving votes: 12 others

Thoughts: OK then. White received the same number of votes in this category as Zion Williamson, who has superstar written all over him. This one is basically impossible to predict, but it's feasible that White could wind up being the best player from his class. He was the 7th overall pick, after all. Also, remember that Wendell Carter Jr. received the most votes in this category a year ago. The Bulls are well represented.

Which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was drafted?

1. Bol Bol, Nuggets (19%)
1. Kevin Porter, Cavs (19%)
3. Coby White, Bulls (5%)
3. Nassir Litte/Isaiah Roby/Grant Williams/Carsen Edwards (5%)

Others receiving votes: 12 others

Thoughts: It was interesting to see White's name on this list. It's tough to make an argument that White should have gone in front of any of the six players taken before him in June. If anything, the Bulls' other rookie is feeling like a steal where he was drafted. Daniel Gafford had a mighty impressive Summer League as the No. 41 overall pick. Fun fact: The only Bulls rookie to ever top this category was Erik Murphy in 2013. That didn't work out so well.

Which rookie is the best defender?

1. Matisse Thybulle, Sixers (37%)
2. De'Andre Hunter, Hawks (29%)
3. Brandon Clarke/Jaxson Hayes/Nassir Litte (8%)

Others receiving votes: Coby White, Bulls; 3 others

Thoughts: Another interesting inclusion for White, who certainly has the speed and size to be a plus defender. His wing span isn't anything to write home about but White should be able to keep up with the league average defense at the position. In such a guard-heavy league, simply keeping your counterpart to his season average is usually a plus. White should, at the very least, be able to do just that.

Which rookie is the best playmaker?

1. Ja Morant, Grizzlies (40%)
2. Darius Garland, Cavs (15%)
3. Coby White, Bulls (10%)
3. Ty Jerome, Cavs (10%)
5. Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Pelicans (8%)

Others receiving votes: 4 others

Thoughts: Point guards dominated this category, and for good reason. White isn't a natural point guard but he's a blur in transition and looked pretty comfortable in Summer League working pick-and-roll action. The Bulls' rookie is going to have more than a handful of "wow" moments as a playmaker, so he's deserving of this spot on the list.

'Rodman: For Better or Worse' 30 for 30 will debut on September 10

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

'Rodman: For Better or Worse' 30 for 30 will debut on September 10

On Friday ESPN revealed that the next film in their award-winning 30 for 30 series will focus on the life of former Bull and Hall of Fame forward Dennis Rodman. 

The film—which is titled "Rodman: For Better or Worse" will detail Rodman's journey to becoming a Hall of Famer and five-time NBA Champion. The documentary will detail Rodman's difficult upbringing in Dallas, his dominant run at Southeastern Oklahoma State and his development into one of the greatest rebounders in NBA history. 

While Rodman is no doubt one of the greatest talents in NBA history, he is just as famous for his intriguing and oftentimes shocking off the court exploits. Rodman: For Better or Worse will discuss Rodman diving into international diplomacy issues and all of the deeper reasons behind him becoming the interesting character that we know him as today. 

The documentary will feature interviews from former teammates and coaches of Rodman's, including Bill Laimbeer,  John Salley, Isiah Thomas, Michael Jordan, and Phil Jackson. 

Rodman: For Better or Worse will be directed by Todd Kapostasy. 

Kapostasy is a seven-time Emmy Award winner. He wrote and directed 2016 documentary 'Confessions of a Cubs Fan: A Century of Waiting', which focused on the idea that winning isn't everything in sports amid the backdrop of the Cubs winning the 2016 World Series.

“Rodman: For Better or Worse” released on September 10, at 8 p.m. CT

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